- GARY MILAKOVIC
STEVE DOMBEK, CFP®, RRC, IG Wealth Management Investors Group Financial Services Inc.
"Finance, with a side of French cuisine"
Steve Dombek, Certified Financial Planner is not your typical Financial Advisor. He studied economics at Laurentian University, completing a bachelor’s degree before moving to France to continue his studies in Paris. It wasn’t his passion for finance that drew him to Paris, however. It was his passion for cooking.
Accepted into the prestigious Le Cordon Bleu school, Steve spent 2 years training to achieve his Grand Diplôme in culinary arts and upon returning to Canada worked in the hospitality industry for a year before being discovered at Lake Obabika Fishing lodge in Northern Ontario. After preparing a 6-course dinner for his now, Regional Director, he was asked to join IG Wealth Management and has been with the company ever since. His current project fuses his two passions into something he calls the Financial Bistro. Steve wasn’t always so open about his love of food…but a lot has changed since then.
One of the reasons Steve was so passionate about finance, and solid financial planning, is a tragedy that struck his family when he was only 13. The family lost everything to a flood in 1979 and had to rebuild from nothing. It was a devastating financial blow, from which they almost didn’t recover.
They built a new house themselves, with Steve serving as carpenter, gofer, or whatever else was needed at the time. In hindsight, it taught Steve a lot of valuable skills that he leveraged when building the Financial Bistro.
“My parents were my age when it happened. Looking back now, if I had to go through that, I don’t know if I could have done it. Not only rebuilding our lives, but keeping the family hopeful, and together. Now that I have a family of my own, I have a deeper appreciation for everything they did for us.”
Having gone through this tragedy at such a young age, and now having the life experience to fully understand the implications of this event is what allows Steve to be empathetic with clients and be a great Financial Advisor.
Early in Steve’s career at IG Wealth Management he was reticent to share his passion for the culinary arts with clients. He wasn’t sure clients would trust a chef with their money.
However, it’s this dual love that’s allowed him to offer a unique value proposition.
Steve introduced his love of food and finance gradually, initiating a referral contest related to these two passions. If a client provided a successful referral, they would receive a dinner for six in their home prepared by Steve.
The contest was recognized by Advisor Forum Magazine as the best referral contest that year. Steve is proud of that recognition, and he now combines his two passions without fear. The contest is what gave Steve the idea to create the Financial Bistro.
The Financial Bistro
Corporate Financial offices are usually very similar. You go there because you must, not because you want to.
That is something that Steve wanted to change.
He wanted to make coming to his office a positive and relaxed experience, where he and clients could work together to build their financial plan. The Financial Bistro serves as a mouth-watering place for clients, many of whom have become friends over the past three decades.
“Over the past few years, I’ve been seeing Advisors hosting large events, or special dinners. They bring their family or friends, often they’ll do it at a restaurant or bar; they’ll share a meal and talk business. I realized: this is something I can be doing myself.”
The Financial Bistro is located in Northern Ontario and despite all the time that Steve invested in the concept, building the Financial Bistro moved quite quickly. The right building became available, and Steve knew it was a sign that it was time to move forward with his ambitious plan. The renovations recalled memories of working with his father to rebuild their house. Everything Steve knows about construction, he learned from that experience. He put the same heart and soul into the Financial Bistro as he did that family house.
It’s special that there’s a little bit of his father in this exciting new direction for his business.
The Right Direction
At this stage in his career, Steve is more comfortable in his role as a Financial Advisor. Steve is empathetic because he’s been there and genuinely cares. He’s seen the bad times, lived through the corrections, and held the hands of clients as they navigated through life’s challenges.
When working with clients Steve aims to make them comfortable with the subject matter. He wants to empower them with the information they need to make the best, most informed decisions. He provides options so they can decide for themselves. Working with his team at the Financial Bistro, they serve all clients in a timely and efficient manner.
Clients are raving about the Financial Bistro. Those who have visited so far have enjoyed a delicious meal, with a side of financial planning.
Steve looks forward to welcoming more clients, both existing, and prospective for a visit.
It promises to be a financial planning meeting like no other.
Gary Milakovic is a veteran writer with more than a decade in the public sector and corporate communications. He has covered a wide spectrum of topics and his work has been featured by large and small organizations across Canada. Gary is passionate about communication, his writing often focuses on uncovering the “story behind the story.”
Steve Dombek, B. Econ, CEA, RRC, CFP
Certified Financial Consultant
947 Lorne St, Sudbury, ON P3C 4R8
Office: 705.673.1777 Cell: 705.691.2248